Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to Our Volunteers!

As we sit down with our loved ones this Thanksgiving, it is important to take the time to think about what we are thankful for. Some families express their gratitude by taking turns around the table, or by reflecting quietly about individuals or things they are grateful for. 

As I begin my fourth year as your CEO, I am extremely thankful for all of our volunteers. Although I try to express my gratitude personally throughout the year, I would like to take this special time to thank each and every one of you for making Girl Scouting possible for girls in Connecticut. Volunteers are the backbone to this organization, and without their tireless efforts and selflessness throughout the year, we wouldn’t be able to give our girls all of the incredible programming and opportunities that we do. Thank you.

Many of our volunteers tell me that the best thing about being a Girl Scout volunteer is that volunteers also reap benefits from the program. Not only do these individuals believe they are making a difference in the lives of girls they serve, but they are also enjoying personal and professional benefits as well. Our Girl Scout volunteers have the opportunity to make new friends, develop valuable and marketable skills, be active and get outdoors, and are a part of a supportive and everlasting, global sisterhood!

There are so many ways that volunteers can contribute to our mission—by leading troops, bringing their skills and expertise to a local Service Unit team, by facilitating adult training, joining a council-wide committee or task force, and also by delivering programming to our girls. The one thing that is universal about our volunteers is that we couldn’t bring the magic of Girl Scouting to girls without them.

We are always looking for men and women who can help us to grow our reach. If you are a volunteer and know of any enthusiastic women or men looking to make a difference in a girl’s life, invite them to join Girl Scouts!

On behalf of Girl Scouts of Connecticut, I’d like to again offer a BIG THANK YOU, and wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Girls on STEM: Survey Finds Girls are Interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Over the past 50 years, women in the U.S. have made incredible strides in non-traditional careers, but, unfortunately, we are still seeing disparities that hold us back.

A Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) study in 2012, “Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math”, finds that despite these advances we are still seeing under representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and math. Girls tend to lose interest in math and science abilities in middle school, and even if they do enjoy these subjects, they don’t often receive the encouragement to continue and excel.

The demand for qualified STEM workers is growing exponentially in the U.S. STEM jobs have grown three times the pace of non-STEM jobs in the past year, and this trend will only continue. Today, women only account for 20% of bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, and physics, and only 25% positions in STEM are held by women.

The good news is: GIRLS LIKE STEM! According to the GSRI survey, 74% of high school girls across the United States are interested in STEM. The study found that girls interested in these subjects are higher achievers, better students, and have stronger support systems, such as their families, friends, and mentors. In fact, 92% of girls surveyed believed that they were smart enough to have a career in STEM.

On Friday, December 4, we will be hosting our 19th Annual Breakfast Badge event at the Hartford Club where we will be honoring three outstanding women in STEM. The three honorees, Joanne Berger Sweeney, President of Trinity College, Manon Cox, President and CEO of Protein Sciences, and Kathy Kountze-Tatum, Senior Vice President and CIO of Eversource Energy are exemplary role models for our girls.

At Girl Scouts of Connecticut, we offer programming in robotics, rocketry, coding, financial literacy, and more. We make experiential learning in STEM fun. We strive to help girls achieve their dreams and help them know there is nothing that will hold them back. Women like Joanne, Manon, and Kathy prove just that. We recently called together a STEM Advisory Committee comprised of STEM leaders from throughout the state to help us to further focus our STEM programming and prepare our girls for successful STEM careers. 

We have confident girls all around us, and one of the best ways to help them achieve their goals is to show them that their dreams can be a reality. Celebrate the importance of helping girls to excel in STEM by joining us on December 4!

Yours in Girl Scouting, 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Supporting Our Girls As They Change the World

With Halloween barely behind us, we know that the holiday season will be here in the blink of an eye. As we rush around to prepare for the holidays, it is comforting for me to think about all the amazing things our girls take on during this season to help others from helping out at a local shelter to collecting canned goods for a local food drive to bringing smiles and joy to older folks in nursing homes. In the truest sense of philanthropy our girls are making their communities, and the world, a better place.

Winter is also the time of year our girls will be putting on their entrepreneurial hats and stretching their skills through our product sales programs. Through QSP, customers supported Girl Scout troops through the purchase of magazines and delicious nuts and candies. Girl Scout troops earn essential start-up money for their annual troop activities—like the holiday season service or Take Action projects we mentioned above.

As we close out another successful QSP season, we are already underway with the next anticipated event –Election Day Booth Sales! This week until Sunday, November 8, Girl Scouts across the state will be selling Girl Scout Cookies at a number of polling and other locations in your area. We know that girls have fun selling cookies, but we also know that the cookie program builds lifelong skills in the girls who participate. This iconic program gives our girls the opportunity to participate in a hands-on leadership and financial literacy program where girls gain five specific skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.

And many of our booths will offer customers the opportunity to support service women and men around the world as part of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s Cookies for Heroes program! There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season by thanking our wonderful service women and men who serve overseas and at home!

By supporting our cookie program, not only do we give girls the opportunity to learn these skills, and earn money for their goals, but we also help girls grow into more confident and courageous young women.

Check out this link to find a booth near you! Happy selling!

Yours in Girl Scouting,